We go top (briefly): West Bromwich Albion 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
We go top (briefly): West Bromwich Albion 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
As I write this, we are top of the league table, and we – Tottenham supporters - are smiling that bit extra today. Even if that changes (and it did), we are still in a good position as we now go into a two-week break. When it goes well for us, we float like a butterfly, when it doesn't, we feel deflated (like shit). Granted, I predicted 5-0+, nevertheless, we won, and that is all that matters (my excuse for not getting it right). To be fair on WBA, they battled and took the game to us (fighting all the time). They didn't try to defend but went for it, in the end, the one goal in the game achieved its aims.
As for us, observers – from a great distance – our hearts were in our mouths for the entire game and even when we did score, we were still on tenterhooks as we waited for the final whistle. As the whistle went, I can imagine a few jigs here or there, by the fans, or something even more extravagant. As for me, I’ll keep that quiet!!! Full credit to the team and Mourinho… he/ they got us there in the end.
The Premier League table before the Leicester & Liverpool games.
1. Tottenham 17 pts
2. Southampton 16 pts
3. Liverpool 16 pts
4. Chelsea 15 pts
Sadly, in a blink of an eye, Leicester City leapfrogged us by beating Wolves. However, Liverpool drew with City.
Premier League table after Leicester City beat Wolves and Liverpool drew
1. Leicester City 18 pts
2. Tottenham 17 pts
3. Liverpool 17 pts
4. Southampton 16 pts
One point separates us and 1st.
I prepared myself by getting up early, going for a long walk (no gym, as the government cancelled them), reading and then waited for the final count down.
I watched the game on my iPad with my free football app. Instant Karma came over me, or was that just John Lennon’s song playing in the background? You often get strange goings-on’s at my house.
To the match
Kane got another one to add to his tally – a bit late getting there, but they all count – with 2 minutes to go. And that was all we needed to go on top. It was the first time since August 2014 when we last graced that position.
To be honest, we all thought this was going to end in a draw. Hugo Lloris had kept out Karlan Grant's second-half header and a flurry of chances had come and gone without reward. But we are learning to persevere, and it finally paid off. Kane punished a minor lack of concentration. Their defence – WBA's – failed to track Kane as he ran into the box, allowing him to leap unchecked to meet Matt Doherty's cross and nod his 150th Premier League goal over their unfortunate goalkeeper Sam Johnstone. Across the world, Tottenham supporters rejoiced in all sorts of manners. I suppose it was lucky we were all isolated as the embarrassment of our follies – if witnessed widely – could have shamed us all into an asylum (I am thinking of, “One Flew over the Cuckoo's nest,” here). Anyway, back to the land of the living… or living isolation!
Our lead only lasted for a short while (at the top of the table), but it was the kind of cynical play and narrow win that is the trademark of great champions.
As for the Albion, who have only scored once in their last five games, it was a result that keeps them entrenched in the relegation zone.
Are we title contenders?
Some may say it is too early to tell, however, with no team in the Premier League outstanding, I do fancy our chances. As I said in a previous article, a group of us have put money on Spurs winning the league, and if we do, we should get about £9,000. You can just imagine the tremendous big piss up we’ll have if we do!
If we look at some of the players who did not even make Mourinho's squad, such as Winks, Sanchez and Bergwijn, then it gives one confidence that we will bag some trophies and fight all the way for the League title this season.
As for Mourinho: apart from the start of his last season at United, when they played a day before everyone else, this was the first time he has been at the top of the table since September 2017.
Mourinho has instilled grit and orderliness into Spurs to make them a top side, and of course, we've got Bale, who is improving in every game. Granted, Bale wasn't at his best in this match; nevertheless, he managed to start a game for the first time since leaving the club in 2013. He formed a possibly deadly attacking trio alongside Kane and Son. Great potential there.
Son came close with an earlier chance that came his way. Sadly, he took too long to set the goal up, and he was finally blocked by Kyle Bartley. It could have changed the whole dynamics of the game if he had scored. After that, it was a succession of long-range shots.
And then Doherty had an effort saved near the end, and we thought it was all over (a draw). But as we know Kane (is it ever over until the final whistle?), his brain kept ticking, looking, observing, hunting and finally taking his chance and scored. He is a great footballing predator.
As the saying goes, the cock was out, and once out you can't quickly put it away… not without it giving all its best… and then he shoots! I had to reread that twice, anyhow, I know what I mean (in the best possible taste!).
Comments by Mourinho
“West Bromwich gave us a very difficult match,” José Mourinho said. “They way they played meant we had to play even better. I am pleased that we are compensating in away games for the points we have dropped at home, but it is too early to get excited about anything at the moment. In a lot of countries, we might be talked about as title hopefuls, but it is hard in the Premier League. You can have a very good season and still find Liverpool or Manchester City ahead of you. I am happy that Kane reached another landmark, but mostly I am pleased to have Harry playing for us. His all-round game is worth just as much as his goals. As well as scoring goals, he recovers the ball and wins so many challenges.”
As for Slaven Bilic, well he couldn’t disguise his displeasure at such a late goal. He said, “We made good chances against a good team today, and if we can keep doing that we will have a chance of staying up.”
We have won each of our opening four away games of a league season for just the fourth time in our history (also 1949-50, 1960-61 and 2017-18).
West Brom have failed to win any of their first eight games of a league season for only the second time, having last done so in 1985-86, when they would go on to be relegated from the top flight.
We have kept a clean sheet in back-to-back away league games for the first time since October 2018.
West Brom have failed to score in back-to-back home Premier League matches for the first time since doing so in four in a row from April to May 2017.
Kane has been directly involved in 27 goals in his last 14 starts for Tottenham in all competitions, scoring 17 and assisting 10.
What's next for our title-chasing team?
We entertain Manchester City at home (17:30) on Sunday 21st Nov and then five days later another home game, where we are back in the Europa League (Thursday night football), against Ludogorets. Three days after that, we are on the road to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsa. The mad helter-skelter antics of English top-flight football, don’t you just love it! The price one pays when one sups with the Gods (or is that devils?)!
That is all folks, now a two-week break (for the club); there is no rest for the wicked, so, no doubt I’ll be back before then. Take care, enjoy and stay safe. Glenn